ATF offers reward for stolen hand guns

More than two dozen stolen handguns are out on the streets after two break-ins of the same sporting goods store this past weekend.

It's business as usual at Gander Mountain, despite being burglarized twice over the 4th of July weekend. The thieves, got away with 27 handguns that the Potter County Sheriff's Department wants off the streets.

"If you have that many handguns on the streets you need to get them picked up and find out why somebody was wanting to steal that many guns," said Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas.

Sheriff Thomas has contacted Crime Stoppers and other law enforcement in the area to be on the lookout, and is hoping someone will come forward with information on the stolen pistols.

While you might think pawn shops would be an ideal location for thieves to sell the handguns, both police and pawn shop owners know they'd be pretty stupid to try.

"every gun that comes in this place we have to keep up with through the ATF and copies made and sent to the PD once a week so they'd be pretty stupid," David Erwin of Erwin Pawn Inc.

Law enforcement admits these thieves may have been using the holiday weekend as a cover for their crime.

"It's a bad thing for our sakes, just because we were so busy," said Thomas.

But he's also determined to get these guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

"We're afraid more than anything they're going to be out on the streets and that's what we don't want. So we need to hurry up and get them located."

Sheriff Thomas encourages anyone with information about this crime to call Crime Stoppers at 374-4400. All information remains anonymous and you will receive cash if your tip leads to an arrest or conviction.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is upping the ante by offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved with theses burglaries.